Originally from Lawrenceville, GA, Sarah Peacock was raised in a musical family and knew she wanted to pursue music from a young age. Her love for music took her to Nashville where she attended Belmont University, majoring in commercial music with an emphasis on music business. In 2005, Peacock was introduced to the road--a place she called home for many years. Now settled in Nashville and thankful for all of her experiences, both good and bad, Peacock has seen the benefits of slowing down. In addition to receiving awards and accolades, she was named The Listening Room Network’s Artist of the Year and received endorsements from Taylor Guitars. Peacock graciously took the time to talk about her journey, new music and more.
You have been writing and performing music for quite some time, what initially spurred you to pursue it as a profession?
My grandma taught me piano at age four, but I grew up around music my whole life. My family was pretty conservative; we weren’t allowed to listen to a whole lot of different types of music. It may sound hokey, but I listened to a lot of Amy Grant. In high school I listened to other types of music and just knew it was something that I wanted to pursue. Music was just in me I guess. It was almost like a calling.
Your music merges quite a variety of styles. Is there anyone you consider a musical influence or anyone in particular you admire?
I started touring in 2005 and it’s been an interesting journey. My musical style has morphed over the years; before it was more pop-rock, but now it’s definitely more country. I began living in Nashville off and on and I grew to appreciate country more. I enjoy the older country artists, like Reba and Garth, as well as the newer ones, like Lady A and Miranda Lambert. I love classic rock too, especially the Wilson sisters [Heart]--they’re probably my favorite band. I incorporate other styles, but I am definitely more in the country vein, especially in the last five years. I think it fits me because my music is story telling, which is hard to fit into other genres.
Along the way you have overcome a lot of struggles. How have those experiences shaped you?
Gosh, I’m so grateful. Looking back, I am so thankful for those struggles and growing pains, from the drama on the road to industry stuff to the personal things that happened. Being on the road is freaking hard and people don’t realize that, they just think you’re living the dream. In reality you are, but the way you’re doing it is not the way you thought you would be doing it. It takes a long time, and a lot of mistakes, to figure out how everything works in the business. I’m out here trying to get as far as I possibly can, pushing as hard as I can. Great stuff has happened in the past year or so, but it’s been very gradual. Hard work and struggle makes you who you are--it builds character. I don’t think I would be where I am, be who I am, and have the life that I have now without having gone through all of that. I’m thankful that I can be thankful and grateful that I can be grateful and to know what those things really feel like because you can’t experience a depth of gratitude if you don’t really go through some stuff, you know.
2014 seems to have been a year where things really moved forward professionally for you.
I hit a wall last year in February. I was asked to play in Alaska and thought it would be a cool experience. I had the time there to think and be with myself. I realized in certain ways, I was getting burned out on the road. I was trying to build a career, but touring all the time was also hindering relationships in Nashville. I realized that if I stayed on the road I would be hoping something would happen, but if I stayed in Nashville I could focus on nurturing relationships with people who wanted to help me. People would say “call me when you’re in town,” but I was never in town. I started to get the picture that I had to be present, so I slowed down and established a base in Nashville.
I released the song “Hurricane” in 2012 and it won Best Song at the American Songwriting Awards. That song initially got the momentum going. I was lucky enough to be showcased at CMA Fest last year and another song, “Beautiful,” was a winner at the Unsigned Only Competition. Last summer I recorded an EP and we just released the single “The Only Way Out.”
Initially, I was worried that by staying in one place, I wouldn’t be able to provide for myself, but I started to release control and trust in God. Honestly, last year was my most successful year and I only played 80 dates as opposed to 250. To me, that’s a testament to stay in tune with yourself and do what you feel in your heart and gut. I know there’s a plan for me and I know there’s something special right around the corner. I’m trying to focus on music, loving people and being thankful and grateful for what I have and am able to do. It’s awesome.
It does sound that by letting go, things definitely took a turn for you. Do you have plans to release the EP?
I don’t know. I would love to be able to package it up and sell it, but I have this feeling that I need to wait. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but I think I’m supposed to wait. I would like to figure out a way to get back in the studio before the end of the year and make another record. I find I am still experimenting with my sound too which is why I’m hesitant to release the EP. I have been playing around with different ideas, nothing drastically different, but something different. I am not sure what it will be yet, I am going to go with my gut and hopefully it’ll all work out.
Going with your gut has worked out for you before! You have however, released a single from the EP this past March. What is the story behind “The Only Way Out?”
There is kind of a message of hope in the song. It’s about how often times in life we get caught up in what we think is right for us, even though it might not be. Maybe it’s a relationship that you don’t need to stay in, but we have ties and for whatever reason, we don’t want to end it or have it be over. At some point though, what’s best for us winds up happening somehow, maybe it’s God looking out for us, getting us away from things we don’t need to be a part of. The whole point of the song is sometimes the only way out is a broken heart, but at the end of the day there is something better around the corner.
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Purchase "The Only Way Out" here